How Much Does It Cost To Have Landscape Rock Install?

gray landscape rock next to brown mulch and green shrubs in backyard walkway

If you have a new home and you need to landscape you may be considering landscape rock.  Or maybe you’ve decided it’s time to get rid of the lawn and stop wasting water.  Or possibly you’ve had enough of the splash back on the side of your house, and you’ve decided to put a drip strip of landscape rock next to the house.  Whatever reason you are looking into landscape rock inevitably you’ve wondered how much do you need to budget for landscape rock?  How much does it cost to have landscape rock install?

How Much Does It Cost To Have Landscape Rock Install?

As with most backyard projects, there’s not a singular or easy answer. There are several decisions you can make as a homeowner to raise or lower your cost. There’s also some locational considerations that will impact the price. For example, let’s say you want a rough budget for landscaping rock on a 20 x 40 area, 6 inches thick. The cost could range from $4,000 – 18,000.

Why is there such a discrepancy between the low and high end? The same reason an inground pool, retaining wall or any other project varies. No two landscape rock installs are the same. Therefore, you need to right size the cost of your install with the following factors.

4 Factors That Impact How Much Does It Cost To Have Landscape Rock Install

There are 4 main considerations when installing landscape rock. They boil down to location, layout, edging and thickness. Use these as a guide to understand if your project is on the high or low end.

Landscape Rock Location

First, it’s important to consider whether you are putting the rock in the front yard or the backyard.  What is the access from the street to where the landscape rock will go?  When you need to dump the rock in the street, and ferry it to the back, that adds time.  If you want it done with wheelbarrows to reduce wear and tear on your existing landscaping, that’s additional labor also.  

Area Layout/Prep

Next, figure out the layout of the area you plan on covering with landscape rock.  Make the decision as to whether you will need to dig out the area or if you can leave it as is, cover with geotextile fabric and then cover with rock.  If you have grass currently, you will want to remove the grass before laying out your geotextile fabric.

Curb Type/Edging

Now we need to figure out curb type or edging. The various types of edging:

  • Metal Edging
  • Brick Edging
  • Natural Stone edging
  • Cast In Place Concrete Edging 
guide showing how much does it cost to have landscape rock install by size and edging type with a small install using metal edging

The edging type you choose can impact price significantly.  Most often, we use the metal edging to keep things simple and easy to install.  You can always spend money on more expensive edging options down the road if you find it’s needed for your project.

Landscape Rock Thickness

Now that you have the edging selected, it’s time to move on to the landscape rock.  With landscape rock you will want to determine how thick you want to install the rock.  If you decide on a six inch thickness for example, you will need to calculate the square footage of the area (length x width), and multiply by 0.5 to get the cubic feet of landscape rock you will need. 

If you will be estimating an irregular area, you will need to do some estimating or break it up into triangles.  Once you have the cubic feet of landscape rock you’ll need, you can divide by 27 to get cubic yards.  Landscape rock is nearly always sold by the cubic yard.  

Know that when you have your landscape rock delivered, the dump truck will not wait around and let you dump a little bit here, and a little bit there, and some more over there.  They want to dump and move on.  If you need special treatment, don’t be afraid to tip your way into getting what you want.  Once the material is dumped, your landscaping team will move the stone into its final location and rake it out.

How Much Does It Cost To Have Landscape Rock Install Summary

Ultimately, the range to have landscape rock installed can vary greatly depending on many factors. These include the rock you choose, the thickness, and edging type selected. Landscape rock installs can be expensive. However, as long as you know how to keep landscape rock clean, this is a great investment. After all, landscape rock looks the same year-round and looks beautiful around lawn grass.